Saturday, March 1, 2008

Recollections from Rick and Joan Bender

[Editor’s note: Joan wrote a lengthy recollection for The Times of Skinker DeBaliviere for the December 1994 issue. This and other issues of the neighborhood newspaper will eventually be available online.]
The year 1968 was certainly a blessed one for us; we moved to Kingsbury Ave.! Our house was lovely and the neighbors were, and still are, great!
Back then there were many children on our street. Of 40 homes on 6100 Kingsbury, there were 140 children from cradle through high school. Five were ours – Andy Bert, Hugh, Beth and Rachel.
Even though real estate speculators were trying to change the neighborhood by “block busting,” the residents stood strong and stable. A “Residential Service” was formed and served the neighborhood for about a dozen years. St. Roch church and school has been an anchor here.
In 1969, the first “Mother’s Day Art Fair” was held on 6100 Kingsbury and a few years later neighborhood house tours were added.
The people on this street were and are a good example of the whole neighborhood – kind and caring about the needs of others…the Newshams, Crosses, Kohns, Hoerrs, Sheas, Stuarts, McCarthys, Marcuses, Hermes, Sappingtons, Lotteses, and Klinefelters to name a few.
For instance, Betty Klinefelter was like a foster mother/grandmother to children. Betty was an active member of Grace Methodist church and always ready with a helping hand. She was also a Girl Scout leader who began a Scout fund by having the girls earn money by serving meals at Grace church and other efforts. These funds were used to take the Girl Scouts on trips. Our two daughters benefited. Beth went to Italy and Rachel to Hawaii.
We “old timers” remember Pete Fossil and his vegetable/fruit truck rolling through the neighborhood –Easy Shopping! He was so popular and well-liked that Betty Newsham once held a surprise birthday party on the street for him.
The sense of working together might well be illustrated by the men of our neighborhood. Once there was a crash into the northern cement pillar gate on Kingsbury and Skinker. The men gathered together and repaired the pillar.
Fundraising for a cause is pretty common here. When there was a community concern about what would go on the empty lot on Kingsbury and DesPeres, next to the Community Council building, and energetic group got together and help “Bingo Games” at the old Salad Bowl [restaurant] on Lindell [near Vandeventer] on Sunday nights for several years. These fundraiders were Beth Bender, Arline Webb, Mike Holohan, Mark Gorman, Kim Koenig, to name a few. They succeeded and built the playground/park, now known as “Greg Freeman Park.”

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